Those arriving on Saturday afternoon played the Sheep Ranch, a little-known and quirky "golf course" abutting the north edge of the Bandon Dunes property. "Golf course" is in quotes because it is not your typical course. No specified teeing grounds, no set routing, no sign, no clubhouse. No pars or scores. Access through the swinging gate is via prior arrangement with Greg, the superintendent/gatekeeper, on behalf of the private owner.
We had the place to ourselves, on a gorgeous late afternoon. Pure golf. Pure fun.
The property is mostly low-mowed fescue. Greens are watered with an old fire truck that hooks up to the "irrigation system" for a water source (note quotes again around irrigation system).
The maintenance facility is a lean-to with a triplex greensmower, a sprayer and topdresser. Two 55-gallon fuel tanks comprise the fueling station. A big-ass four-wheel drive Massey Ferguson tractor pulls an old set of Jake fairway gangs on the "fairways" (lots of quotation marks here).
Mike Meersman, father of TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Dan Meersman (in red hat),
putts out on hole #? of the Sheep Ranch. The Meersmans are guests of Syngenta.
Looking north over the gorse from the Sheep Ranch.
Too bad nobody is having any fun.
"Lightweight" fairway mowing? Nah.
Sheep Ranch water wagon.
Sheep Ranch maintenance facility. No joke.
Gotta love this photo taken by Matt Crowther, CGCS, of Doug Middleton (Ocean Organics)
silhouetted against the setting sun at the Sheep Ranch.